A sidewalk of smiles

Before I came on my mission, I didn’t ever read the Church magazines much. As a matter of fact, I didn’t read anything much. Since I’ve become a missionary, I’ve really learned to appreciate reading the New Era. It really helps to make my preparation days super-good days. I realized it was having a positive effect on me one preparation day when we were riding on a crowded bus in the Bangkok traffic. I was enjoying one of the stories when it came time to get off, and with a big smile on my face, I clutched the New Era and stepped down from the bus. The sidewalk was as crowded as the bus, and the people all smiled as I walked by. I realized that it was because the New Era had put a smile on my face.

Elder Thomas Bell
Thailand Bangkok Mission

A golden opportunity

I have just finished reading “The Joy Is in Becoming” in the June New Era. It filled my heart with true joy to read the answers these lovely young ladies gave to your questions and to see the concern they have for a very real problem. The way many people try to make wrong appear right proves that Satan is at work influencing the youth to do his will and not the will of their Heavenly Father. Television, books, magazines, and movies are often aimed at leading these children of God into evils that will keep them from obtaining the celestial kingdom. It is a real fight for the youth to escape these pressures and temptations. The New Era has a golden opportunity to help these young people. I’m very proud of these young ladies, and I am sure that our Heavenly Father is proud of them too. I want to commend the New Era for this fine article.

Larry Evans
Oakland, California

Rain and joy in Virginia

As I was reading the April New Era, the Missionary Focus “A Question of Service” caught my eye. My father wanted me to finish my work toward dental school rather than serve a mission. Nevertheless, I too felt the promptings of the Holy Ghost, and I chose to fulfill a mission.

I am grateful for having made that decision, because my father passed away recently when I had been in the mission field for 16 months. During those 16 months we grew closer together, and he gained a knowledge of the restoration of the gospel through my letters. I am grateful for my knowledge of the plan of salvation and await anxiously my opportunity to do his work in the temple. Thanks for the wonderful articles. They make rainy preparation days in Virginia a joy!

Elder Gordon Wallin
Virginia Roanoke Mission

New Era land

When we came across this small town in western Michigan, we knew we had to get a picture. We enjoy the New Era very much and are grateful for it.

Elders Jim Stark and Blaine Olson
Michigan Lansing Mission

What a fountain!

I teach high school juniors and seniors each Sunday morning in the Cody Third Ward, Cody Wyoming Stake. My course manual gives me many opportunities for “teacher-prepared lessons.” Today I first read two issues of the Church News, marking one in particular and setting it aside, knowing parts of it will be worked into future lessons. Then I opened the October 1979 issue of the New Era and let the tears flow. What a dynamically inspirational issue! What a fountain of material for gospel teachers in all realms to utilize for lesson preparation.

Thanks have to be in order. My first impulse was to express appreciation to the New Era, because it is indeed a tool of the Lord. But on reflection, I know that my thanks must be more encompassing. Without all the beautiful, inspired members of the Lord’s true church who write the articles—or just live the experiences that are written about—the pages of the magazine would be empty.

Thank you, Church members everywhere, who care enough about your fellowmen to share your choice spiritual experiences with all of us who so vitally need our lives to be touched.

Sue Bailey
Cody, Wyoming

No more dead fish

Of all the New Eras I’ve read, I was never so happy to see one as I was last week. Here we were, sitting in our flat, my companion sick with German measles, both of us feeling like “dead fish” missionaries, when we received our first New Eras since the 19-week-old mail strike here in the Emerald Isle. And boy did they cheer us up! Especially the article “Your Life Has a Purpose.” We really felt guilty about complaining. Cheerio!

Elders Egan and Elliott
Ireland Dublin Mission

Battle-scarred veterans

I am an avid New Era reader, but I have been disappointed recently with some of the articles about brand-new missionaries teaching battle-scarred veterans a lesson. I am a veteran of 19 months, and my companion has 23 months of dedicated service to his credit. We decided to do a bit of research in past issues of the New Era, and what we discovered renewed our faith. We really enjoyed “A Special Song” in the August 1978 issue and “The Secret of TPLOC” in August 1979, among others.

Serving the Lord is a great opportunity, and we’re truly grateful for the New Era. We’re also happy to report that our investigators enjoy the magazine just as much as we do. Keep up the good work, New Era.

Elder Scott P. Boice
Canada Vancouver Mission

Greetings from Cincinnati

Greetings from Cincinnati! I just finished reading the August New Era, and I felt impressed to write. What a great issue! I particularly enjoyed “The Secret of TPLOC” and “The Banana Peel Case.” Having served on a special full-time mission (in the great Kentucky Louisville Mission) in an area where a large percentage of the population is elderly, I can relate to the stories. I, too, have a testimony of sharing the gospel with all—no matter what their age, color, income, etc.—and I sincerely pray that I might be able to feast on TPLOC more often. Thanks so much for such a great missionary tool and such an inspiration as the New Era is to me. I’ve been able to use it in my missionary efforts in more ways than you can imagine. The Church is true.

Donna Klocke
Cincinnati, Ohio

New Era dig

In the first week of August I went to the Idaho Falls Temple to be sealed to my parents for time and eternity. While my parents went through a session before the sealing, I sat in the youth waiting room of the temple. This was a time for quiet reflection, and while I sat there, I read through the entire September 1978 issue of the New Era. This was very inspiring to me. I especially enjoyed the story “Religion, Rebellion, and Rebecca.” When I returned home from the temple, I dug out all the New Eras from the past year or so and began reading them. Since then the New Era has become an important part of my life, and I look forward to it each month. I was surprised to find that one of my best friends is also an avid reader of the New Era. We have been trying to get others to read this fine Church magazine.

Lonny Northrup
Ontario, Oregon

How did you know?

Thanks so much for the August New Era. How did you know that was what I needed to read and learn about? The whole issue was great, but “The Balm of Gilead” really inspired me. We enjoy the New Era in our home. It’s usually pretty worn by the time everyone has finished reading it.

Mary Wilson
Tujunga, California

They should know by now

I’d like to thank you for such a great magazine. I really enjoy the New Era a lot. My brothers (four) and sisters (two) always wonder where it is. They should know by now that I have it!

Cherrie Northrup
Priest River, Idaho